You’re on your own in a big disaster, according to Cristina Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. Angelenos, and everyone else should take those words to heart.
In the event of a really epic disaster like the potential “Big One” earthquake, or Hurricane Irma which hit Puerto Rico, if emergency response personnel even make it to you, it’s likely going to take a while. Gabriel Cortez reports on Gonzelez’s statement in LAist:
The two huge Ridgecrest earthquakes that rocked Southern California earlier this month shook a lot of people out of their earthquake apathy.
For the city of Los Angeles, the quakes presented an opportunity to promote greater readiness through a program that brings emergency management officials into people’s living rooms.
The city launched its Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood program last year to teach Angelinos a simple truth: When the big one hits, the government probably isn’t going to come save you.
“We don’t have enough police officers and firemen” to help everyone affected by a huge quake, said Crisanta Gonzalez of the city’s Emergency Management Department. “We’re not coming.”
As severe weather has become more common, this “you’re on your own” approach to disaster preparation has become the industry standard. Today, cities across the country are embracing the idea that the best first responders in any natural disaster are your neighbors, Gonzalez said.
Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood workshops teach people what they need to have on hand when an earthquake hits and provides them with a checklist of things that need to get done in the first hour after disaster strikes.
Following the Ridgecrest quakes, the city started promoting the program more intensely. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in the weeks following the Ridgecrest quakes the city had double the number of requests for workshops that it had in the program’s entire first year of operation.
You really must be prepared to take care of yourself for an extended time, or you could find yourself at the mercy of emergency responders’ to-do list.
In the video below, LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas tells residents it could be days before they’re reached. In the video, officials encourage residents to develop the type of community preparedness I’ve suggested to readers.
Working with your neighbors is a great way to build a resilient plan for disaster recovery, but it all starts with you. Get prepared today.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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